Former miner says respirator leaked dust into lungs

By Annie Cosby | Oct 13, 2014

MADISON – A Mingo County man is suing over claims a coal mining respirator leaked harmful dust into his lungs.

Douglas K. and Drema Williams filed a lawsuit Aug. 25 in Boone Circuit Court against Mine Safety Appliances Company, Mine Safety Appliances Company LLC, as successor to Mine Safety Appliances Company, Raleigh Mine and Industrial Supply Inc., and Eastern States Mine Supply Co., citing strict liability.

According to the complaint, Douglas Williams was a coal miner from 1978 until 2013 for various coal mine employers, and during this work he was issued and used respirators manufactured and sold by the defendant companies in order to protect himself from harmful dust.

Williams says the the respirators leaked harmful dust into his breathing zone, which he was unaware of until he was diagnosed with lung dust disease. The defendants are accused of strict liability and negligence.

Drema Williams, Douglas's wife, is suing for loss of consortium.

The Williams' are seeking more compensatory and punitive damages and interest. They are being represented in the case by attorneys G. Todd Houck in Mullens and Eric Jacobi, William R. Kenealy and Christopher M. Dukes of Kenealy and Jacobi PLLC in Louisville, Ky.

Boone Circuit Court case number: 14-C-158

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